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Hum Pathol. 1982 Jun;13(6):569-79.

Alveolar soft-part sarcoma of the orbit: a clinicopathologic analysis of seventeen cases and a review of the literature.


This is a clinicopathologic study of 17 cases of alveolar soft-part sarcoma of the orbit. The mean age of patients was 23 and the median was 18 (range, 11 months to 69 years); 13 patients (76.5 per cent) were women and four were men (ratio, 3.25:1). The right and left orbits were equally involved (eight patients each), and in one the laterality was not specified. Histologically, the tumors had a distinctive organoid pattern outlined by thin-walled capillaries and were composed of nests of large polyhedral cells with abundant, finely granular, acidophilic cytoplasm. Approximately two thirds of the tumors had diagnostic PAS-positive diastase-resistant crystalline structures. Histologically, the differential diagnosis included nonchromaffin paraganglioma, granular cell tumor, metastatic renal cell carcinoma, vascular tumor, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, and amelanotic malignant melanoma. Electron microscopic studies of one tumor disclosed mitochondria with abnormal cristae, increased amounts of glycogen, and cytoplasmic crystalline structures with a periodicity of 8 to 10 nm. Smaller membrane-bound electron-dense granules appeared to be precursors of the crystals. Follow-up studies showed that eight patients were alive and well (median follow-up period, 11.4 years). Six of the eight patients at the time of diagnosis were 20 years of age or younger. A ninth patient was alive and well 13 years after excision of the orbital mass and four years after bilateral thoracotomy with resection of nine pulmonary nodules. Two patients died as a result of metastatic disease, one 14 years and the other 21 years after initial orbital surgery. Two patients died of other causes, one of whom had pulmonary metastases at autopsy. The follow-up period on two recent cases was less than three years, and two patients were lost to follow-up. The disease pursued an indolent clinical course. Surgery offers the best chance to control the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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